FALL 2022

CRI 298 Boethian Abolition (Pre-approved CRI 200C equivalent)
Seeta Chaganti
CRN 27429  Thursdays 12:00pm-2:50pm

By exploring the potential alignment between a premodern philosophical structure and modern police and prison abolition, this course offers a new way for medieval archives to support racial justice. When the 6th-century philosopher Boethius—himself a political prisoner—recognizes the limits of human perceptual structures while theorizing as-yet-unseeable horizons, he models a practice crucial to abolition. To develop the formulation of Boethian abolition, we will read abolitionist thought while examining the Newberry’s Boethian manuscripts, which include vernacular translation and other forms of response. We will seek in the archive an unexpected springboard for emancipatory thought, using that force to help propel the abolitionist project.
This course requires a brief application form, due May 1, 2022, to the Newberry Library. Applications are now closed.


CRI 200A Approaches to Critical Theory
Kris Fallon
CRN 44522 Thursdays 12:10-3:00pm Cruess 1107

Course Description: This course will approach current debates around political violence, identity, subjectivity and representation by introducing the key theorists and issues that animate and underpin these discussions.  Each week we will pair core texts from central figures including Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Foucault, Heidegger, and Adorno with essays from contemporary theorists including Judith Butler, Frank Wilderson, Jacques Ranciere, Frederic Jameson, Wendy Brown and Giorgio Agamben.  Our goal will be to connect major schools of thought from prior generations (Marxism, psychoanalysis, semiotics) with the currents of contemporary work being done around affect theory, gender and sexuality, critical race theory and media theory. Special attention will be paid to enduring concepts and questions which have and continue to structure theoretically engaged discourse including the constitution of the bounded subject, the role of ideology, the ground of critique, the problem of mimesis and representation and the shifting status of knowledge and experience.  Though we cannot cover all of the ideas in a single quarter, students will be exposed to the major schools of thought which have structured the discussion and the stakes involved in their differences and delineations.


CRI 200A Approaches to Critical Theory
Toby Warner
CRN 62681 Thursdays 2:10-5:00pm Sproul 822

This course will introduce students to a variety of foundational topics in twentieth and twenty-first century critical theory. Each meeting will pair authors such as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Benjamin, Adorno, Foucault, and Deleuze with contemporary theorists including Berlant, Bennet, Butler, Hartman, Latour, Moten, Muñoz, and Wynter. Our goal will be to connect across generations and schools of thought to explore how theoretical work from earlier eras continues to structure debates in the present as well as to consider how current interventions reshape longstanding concerns. While we cannot cover all approaches in one term, together we will work toward tracing a ground from which students can define and extend their own research projects.

CRI 200B Problems in Critical Theory
Joshua Clover
CRN 61867 Tuesdays 3:10-6:00pm 248 Voorhies

CRI200B: Critical Logistics Studies
 Logistics, an “art of war” for capitalism since the emergence of interstate trade, has emerged as an object of broader critical study since containerization, the rise of Just In Time production, and the increasing centrality to capitalist profitability of supply chain management, core elements in the so-called “revolution in logistics.” Revolution or not, logistics has been understood both as itself a theory of social and economic ordering; and as a way to theorize transformations in local and global political economies, modes of governance and regimes of value production. It has been taken up by ever greater numbers of  scholarly disciplines and fields, and has produced a growing body of historical and theoretical literature. It the study of logistics a “critical theory”? Is “critical logistics studies” even a thing? This course is not sure, but let’s try to think about it together. Readings include Marx, Levinson, Cowen, Moten & Harney, Chua, Khalili, Arboleda, LaDuke, Dyer-Witheford et al.


External Elective

CST 204/HIS 201X: Global Sexualities: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives (Pre-approved CRI 200B equivalent)
Howard Chiang
CRN 46851 Fridays 3:10-6:00pm Olson 109

Global Sexualities: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives

 This graduate seminar provides a critical introduction to theories and histories of sexuality in the modern world. It pays special attention to the production of knowledge, the operation of power, and how they relate to the construction of personhood and the body as sites of meaning-making, grounds for political struggle, loci of cultural identity and social conflict, objects of scientific study and legal regulation, and guarantors of human difference. A key agenda of this course is to develop the intellectual capacity to bring questions conventionally directed toward the private/intimate sphere to bear on historical narratives and analyses concerning macro-structural transformations. This involves the careful interrogation of the concepts, categories, and questions used by actors in the past and present, always measured against various scales of empirical evidence. As such, a more general objective of this course is to cultivate the appropriate tools for rigorous critical historical thinking.

ENL 237-2: Find, Copy, Erase, Détourne: The Poetics of Appropriation
Erin Gray
Monday 3:10-6pm at the Manetti Shrem Museum

CRN 62298

Course Description

Excising portions of a preexisting text to generate a new work of art has long been central to poiesis. So, too, has it been integral to the creative action involved in thinking Being beyond containment. In this hybrid, creative/critical seminar, we study poetry, fiction, non-fiction prose, music, and visual art produced through decompositional techniques such as the copy, the cut-up, the collage, the sample, the redaction, the blackout, and the cut-and-paste. We read these appropriation-based creative texts alongside works of theory and criticism which query the role of expropriation in constituting modern circuits of value, subjects of knowledge, and systems of power. Our goal will be to think together about the relationship of these operations to the mediation of knowledge, political practice, and ethical becoming in an era of protracted war and catastrophic systems collapse.